IS A CHANGE IN THE SCHOOL CALENDAR A CHANGE IN PROGRAMING?

In Hawaii, students will now be getting seventeen Fridays off this year and seventeen next year in an effort to save money through a furlough of teachers.  However, several lawyers representing a group of students who qualify for special education have filed a suit trying to stop the plan.  The argument is that by taking seventeen days out of the school year, this is a change in programs and services the disabled children receive.  Given that the parents of these students were not consulted prior to this change, the suit alleges it violates the rights of the parents under IDEA.  The suit seeks a temporary restraining order and the first furlough day is this Friday.  Thus, we may know very shortly if in fact such a change in scheduling is a change that requires parental consent under the IDEA. 

OSEP letters January - March 2007

In Saturday’s Federal Register, the U.S. Department of Education published its quarterly listing of letters and other documents of interest regarding Department interpretations of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. The letters are from January through March, 2007. The letters should be available at this part of the Department’s website, although at the moment the site is current only through 2006.

Included in the list is a letter addressing criteria to determine whether a speech and language impairment adversely affects a child's educational performance as well as how a school may respond when speech sessions are missed because of student or provider absence, and an explanation of the requirements governing the continuum of alternative placements. All in one letter. 

Other issues addressed include Medicaid reimbursement; child find for students enrolled in private schools; evaluation for specific learning disability; Part C to Part B transition; and parental consent.

Hopefully, the letters will be available freely on the web soon as there seems a wide-range of interesting issues covered. If anyone has a link to current public domain web documents, please provide it.